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Sun 6 May 2007 05:58 PM

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Drinks market profits from the oomph

The Mideast's energy beverage sector pumps in high margins and gathers momentum in the hospitality industry.

Sales of energy drinks in the hospitality sectors of the UAE and Egypt are higher than ever, according to brand representatives.

Omar El Banna, regional marketing manager Middle East for Power Horse said Egypt has emerged as the strongest market for energy drinks, with clients including Marriott, The Ritz Carlton Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental Hotels and Resorts.

"Saudi Arabia is almost over-congested with energy drinks brands currently, with hotels and restaurants adding up to 20% of our regional business this year, but Egypt holds the most potential and the entire sector grow by 9% last year," El Banna commented.

El Banna said the Austrian-based brand, introduced to the Middle East in 1997, has witnessed demand from emerging markets in the sector, including Qatar, Bahrain and Oman, driving its annual growth of 15%.

Manufactured under the Spitz umbrella, Power Horse is marketed as a beverage that increases physical performance and mental alertness, as well as stimulating the metabolism, blood circulation and mental alertness.

Since its UAE launch in 1998, Red Bull has fronted the energy drink category, yet Raed Gerges, its director of communications, is confident the brand will continue to surpass rivals.

"The sales growth in the UAE has been rising in strength, so we are expecting further growth in this dynamic country," commented Raed Gerges, director of communications, Red Bull.

Dubai-based bars Après and Left Bank Dubai, which combined boast 1600 covers weekly, have also reaped dividends from the growing shift towards energy drinks among customers.

"Energy drinks are now a must at cocktail bars from a marketing perspective and give a nice mix of flavours for bartenders to play with," said Francesco Leoni, executive bar development manager, Emirates Leisure Retail.

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